Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Day After

Sorry Dems, but you had it coming.

When you control the presidency, the house, and the senate and do squat few people are going to cry over you when you get your butts kicked.

Back and forth we go as we head into collapse with the larger issues unaddressed.

Did you hear any candidate of any race at any time engage in any substantial discussion about Peak Oil? Nope? Neither did I.

We are going down the other side and politicians of both parties simply shine the shoes of the corporations as they hoard what remains of our children's future.

Southern Beale has a good comment on the midterms:

I stand by my list of objections to the rigged game which prioritizes corporate greed over the popular voice. I plan to send this list in response to every DSCC and DCCC fundraising request I get. American plutocracy continues; big business was the big winner last night. Our system is still broken, and will remain so, because the Democrats squandered their chance to fix it.


  1. Yup. I've read a lot of people arguing that the dems need to "band together" and support the President. I'm not really sure what this means. But if it means that I'm supposed to embrace the party's shift to just right of middle, nod while the President 'regretfully' fails to fulfill his campaign promises, and applaud while Dems did nothing with the giant mandate and power they had for two whole years... well shit, maybe I'm just too liberal to be a dem anymore.

  2. Sad but true John. Unfortunately I haven't seen any evidence yet that Obama or the rest of the Dem leadership really get it. I think Obama is much more politically tone deaf than we imagined. My other fear is that the Obama regime is just too tied in with Wall St for cleaning that cess pool to be an option for them. And of course the Republicans won't do it. Who then? Very discouraging...

  3. I'm always surprised to hear that people actually think politicians mean what they say.

    For example, am I actually supposed to believe that President Obama really is to the far right of any number of Republicans --including Dick Cheney(!!) -- on gay marriage? Seriously? Am I actually supposed to believe that Bill O'Reilly is *more liberal* on DADT then President Obama?

    Or is it more likely that President Obama's political positions reflect his self-interest, not his beliefs? (Not that Republicans are any better, I could say the same thing about them on any number of issues.)

    Politics is a game, and like any game, it plays by its own rules which don't have to make sense or be consistent. It does not, by the way, have any rule requiring either truth or conviction.

    Figure out how to appeal to a politicians self-interest first, then you can get them to do what you want. Democratic interest groups rarely did that over the last 2 years. Instead, they threatened and pestered and protested at Obama rallies. And when push came to shove, they actually talked out loud about voting for the other guys. Brilliant strategy ... for losing. "If I don't get my way, I'm going to strike out at every at-bat! That'll show 'em!"

    Um. Yeah. Right.

    Machiavelli may have been an ass, but that doesn't mean his advice was always wrong. Perhaps one day Democrats will realize that wimpy-kissy-huggy time is over and act like they actually care about fighting for the important stuff instead of building big fluffy puppets for marches to nowhere.

    Oh, and bribes ... er... "political contributions" never hurt either. If there were money behind discussing Peak Oil, it would get discussed. If there isn't, it won't.

  4. It seems to me that the last time the Democrats really acted like Democrats on most issues was the 1960s. Sadly, Viet Nam got in the way of the significant reforms of that era so that The Great Society only got partially implemented. The Poverty rate was actually cut in half between 1960 and 1975, from 23 per cent to 12 per cent.

    A massive national agenda of creating green energy and fixing our crumbling infrastructure would revive our economy but most of the people in power in both parties are overwhelmingly beholden to the status quo interests of the big corporations. Sadly, that includes Barack Obama who had raised hopes so much 2 years ago. But I still hold out a little hope that he can change course and begin to promote a new version of The Great Society -- very Green and very Just. Let's pray that he and other Democrats see the Light and give America a vision we can believe in.

  5. ‎"the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

  6. Well, it may be a game, and the democrats may be afraid to really run with the mandate they had in 2008, but if liberal folks and others left of center who may not be quite so liberal as others stay home instead of voting, then the country gets what it asked for.

    Always remember that Adolf Hitler was freely elected by a very unhappy German society during the world-wide depression of 1932.

    The only way to be sure you get what you want is to vote in the party that is closest to what you want.

    I am way far to the left of most people. I live in West Virginia. I voted a straight democratic ticket for the first time in my life because I think -- even though there are conservatives in the party -- that democratic principles still apply: unionism, women's rights, civil rights, and a true separation between church and state -- among some others.

    So Obama got in and discovered he couldn't change things. He did the best he can. He's not done yet. So he's got a very different leadership style from most of the presidents we've had (other than Jimmy Carter). So it doesn't mesh with the normal head-bashers we wish he could be.

    So what. He's doing the best he can. Now he's been thrown a total curve by an electorate that thinks with its belly instead of its heart and head.

    'twas ever thus.

    Democrats (and liberals) Keep the faith. Otherwise, we'll lose it all.

  7. Last night, Rachel Madow listed the achievements of the Democrats over the last  last two years and it was substantial. Did it include everything she would have liked? No! But it will be a major benefit for this nation over the long term.  Unfortunately, in our instant result society, the short term wins out.  I tire of whining liberals, many of whom sat this election out. We have some real lunatics coming to Congress next year.

  8. As a member of the "whining liberals" party, just for the record, I voted.

    My vote will be held hostage to no one, certainly not to a president that I am supposed to "support".

    As I see it, there are really only three issues that are substantial enough to care about:

    1) ending Empire's wars
    2) leaving the infinite growth paradigm
    3) managing our impending energy contraction (a soft pedal term for collapse)

    Neither the POTUS or Congress can even name it, let alone deal with it. This election really won't matter much. Congress is a show of keystone cops moving in and out of office screaming at each other.

    As far as Peak Oil is concerned, we will discuss it. It may not be until we are waiting in lines for $10 a gallon gas. Even then, it could be a "discussion" in which the blue keystone cops blame the red keystone cops and vice versa.

    Maybe we will discuss it when the power goes out and the supermarket shelves are bare. Or maybe that will again be the fault of the GOP or the Dems.

    Maybe we will discuss it when all those little countries around the globe who are pumping out oil are engaged in proxy wars on behalf of China and the U.S. and there just seems to be so many terrorists every where and so many places that need our democracy.

    Or maybe not.

    Maybe Peak Oil only will be discussed by historians who will shake their heads and wonder why we never talked about it when we had the chance...assuming of course, someone survives to write our history.

    I will probably vote for Obama again in 2012, just because he might be less likely to push the nuke button than President Gingrich or President Palin.

    But I can't even be sure of that.

  9. John, I am glad, very glad, that you are saying these things. They need to be spoken.

    I pleaded with our Blue Dog in congress (who got beaten badly in a district which went for Democrats for Senate and Governor) to have a change of heart after he voted against Caps-for-Trade and again after he voted against Healthcare Reform. Maybe he will see the Light and run again as a Progressive.

    Maybe Obama will see the Light and become a passionate advocate of the change we need. I remain hopeful but I sure do see the dangers ahead that you articuloate so well.

  10. "Neither the POTUS or Congress can even name it, let alone deal with it."

    Because there is no monied constituency to do so. But there is a very great deal of money out there that will help politicians ignore it.

    Fight fire with fire. Voting is cute and I enjoy it as a hobby also, but money is where it's really at.

    Remember that the same lack of regulation that allows unlimited contributions from corporations can now be used by any other special interest group. If people who are interested in peak oil as an issue spent the money they might otherwise spend on gas and gave it to political groups that work for their issues...

    Just sayin'. Talk, as they say, is cheap. And buying politicians doesn't come cheap these days. Anyone who thinks this isn't about buying votes is, IMHO, naive.

    So get out there and spend some money.

    (Note: Church politics is no different. See anything ever written by the Presbyterian Lay Committee -- they always include an appeal for $$ to stand up for God'$ Ble$$ing$.)

  11. Here's a list of 16 candidates who won and are actively working to "end empire's wars." At least a few people in power can and do name it. I guess I am still willing to work within the Democratic Party, within the current political system. The Progressive Caucus only lost 4 of 96. The Blue Dogs lost 26 out of 56. We can work to make the Democrats even more Progressive, more willing to name and address the issues you have named as critical. Even in the more rural parts of upstate NY, 2 Progressives won while 2 Blue Dogs lost.

  12. I simply do not understand the Supreme Court decision about campaign financing. Spending money is free speech? What's up with that? When I buy a pizza I'm saying something profound about the nature of reality? Oh, that's right, I don't count because I don't have a lot of money.

  13. It isn't just that money is free speech, Bob (which, yes, is crazy) but that a corporation is a person, with the same rights as a person.

    If that works for the 1st amendment, I can't wait to see how corporations start to invoke the 2nd amendment.

  14. @Bob

    "I don't count because I don't have a lot of money."

    Thank you for saying that.

    @Sea Raven

    I'm trying (I think) to keep the faith. It is just that they are all starting to look the same to me now.

    Except, perhaps as John W. says.

    @John W.

    I appreciate the list of the good people. I also like Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, and Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD -- a voice for Peak Oil awareness).

    Are they good because they sold out to the highest corporate bidder? Or do they have a moral voice independent of $$?

    Which brings us to


    Is Alan right in the end, that the game is about whoever gives the most money wins?

    Could the most money ever actually be for the issues above? Who is this money going to anyway if not media corporations? The media scored a windfall this last election.

    I cannot think of any corporation, or any institution (including the church) that would benefit in our current economic growth paradigm by making people aware of Peak Oil.

    It is in no one's institutional interest to educate people about Peak Oil. Granted there are a few cottage industries sprouting up (selling survivalist gear and stuff like that) but there is no corporate lobbying there.

    So Roscoe Bartlett (the Republican) talks about Peak Oil not because he has been paid to do so, but because he thinks it is his job. I can't speak for the rest of his politics. He is one of the few (perhaps the only) who is both educated about Peak Oil and speaks to Congress and his constituents about it. In other words, he is a leader with a conscience.

    Of course, I cannot assume that my concern is the same as others reading this. In fact, I can pretty well assume it isn't.

    To me there is nothing more important than the interconnected issues of energy/economy/ecology/peace. Peak Oil is the end game for economic growth as we know it. It is the end game for civilization as we have lived it.

    If members of congress and our president do not get that or will only get it if we pay them to get it, then they are a lost cause.

    I am not talking about special interest issues such as gay rights or healthcare as important as those are.

    I am talking about civilization-changing-realities that we will be feeling within the next few years (and in fact are now).

    That is what leads me to my pessimism regarding our political process.

    I am hopeful, however. I am hopeful that in spite our collective lack of leadership on what is most significant to civilization (in my opinion) that people will begin to educate themselves and take responsibility themselves for their own future.